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Yusuf Buratai: Times and Life of a Legend, By Bukola Olasanmi


Yusuf Buratai
Yusuf Buratai, just like his son, served the military, with distinction, honor and valour. Little was known about his birth and early childhood, however, In 1942 Alhaji Yusuf Buratai (Senior) the father of current COAS joined the West African Army at the tender age of 18. He fought in World War II in 1945, especially the war in Burma.

Yusuf Buratai, was a non commissioned officer in the Royal West African Frontier Force and World War II veteran.  Buratai, joined the West African Army in 1942.

The Burma Campaign in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II was fought primarily between the forces of the British Empire and China, with support from the United States, against the forces of the Empire of Japan, Thailand, and the Indian National Army. British Empire forces peaked at around 1,000,000 land, naval and air forces, and were drawn primarily from British India, with British Army forces (equivalent to 8 regular infantry divisions and 6 tank regiments), 100,000 East and West African colonial troops, and smaller numbers of land and air forces from several other Dominions and Colonies.

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 The Burmese Independence Army was trained by the Japanese and spearheaded the initial attacks against British Empire forces. Buratai Senior later joined the services of escorting ships from Lagos to Cotonou and Cape Town in South Africa.

The 115-year-old war veteran died at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where he was being treated for undisclosed ailment. Buratai, who fought in World War II, is survived by one wife, 15 children and many grandchildren.

Those who knew Yususf  Burati back in the days continued to tell tales of his courage and valour . While in the service of escorting ships from Lagos to Cotonou and Cape Town in South Africa, Yusuf was described as a very fearless, disciplined and highly professional officer.

This certainly explains why President Buhari  in a statement commiserating with his family stated that his service to Nigeria will always be appreciated and remembered. He further noted that Buratai’s years of service to the nation epitomised by courage, skill, determination and devotion has been rightly bequeathed to his son, who is diligently serving the nation.

He saw action during the Second World War and fought gallantly. He is a highly respected community leader  and an opinion leader of great repute. He will not be forgotten in a hurry. At community level he is seen as a vibrant leader who was a great promoter of peaceful co-existence, development and the unity of the country.

The successful career of his son in the military has been severally attributed to proper upbringing by him. Little wonder,  Buratai junior is going down in history as  one of Nigeria most revered army chief in Africa and indeed, the world at large; he has reached a grand pinnacle with his numerous achievements, leading the Nigerian Army to completely decimate the Boko Haram menace which threatened the very existence of the nation. Though, the heights great men like Buratai reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night and also got directions from veterans like his father.

Tukur Yusufu  Buratai, the illustrious son of late Yusuf Buratai is a Nigerian Lieutenant general and the current Chief of Army Staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a position he was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2015.  He was commissioned in 1983 and has had multiple command, administrative, and instructional appointments.

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